Flow & Cure Analysis System For SMC, BMC

A new material characterization system for SMC and BMC compounds provides real-time curing information and flow analysis.

A new material characterization system for SMC and BMC compounds provides real-time curing information and flow analysis. The Flow Analysis Cure Time System (FACTS) from Ashland Composite Polymers, Dublin, Ohio, combines a special spiral-flow mold with dielectric cure sensors from Signature Control Systems of Denver and a computer analysis program. The tool, software, and sensors will fit most compression presses of at least 75 tons. Ashland’s spiral-flow mold, introduced in 2003, features a 2-in. channel, rather than the typical 0.25 in. The larger channel better accommodates 1-in. glass fibers used in SMC. The system costs $82,500. Ashland estimates payback in scrap savings within 3 yr for a plant using 1 million lb/yr of SMC.